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What You Say Determines What You Think!

The potential power underlying our relationship with God, a power that is probably the most under-utilized and neglected source of strength in the known universe, may be best illustrated in the way we refer to Him in our ordinary speech. We usually speak of God as “Thee, Thou, He, Him or You.” In grammatical terms, we see God as second or third person singular. How Great Thou Art is written in second person singular. Our God Is an Awesome God is third person singular. These references lead us to think of God as “that Being over there” or “that Power up there.” Thus, we limit the God who comes to live inside us as the God who lives outside us; we view the resident Spirit as our next-door neighbor, or even our absent landlord; we accept His indwelling theologically, but we deny His indwelling as a practical reality. 

What would happen if we were to speak of God as “we”, meaning He and us together? A simple, yet fundamental change in the way we talk would make and incredible difference in the way we think. Linguists tell us that language provides strong delimiters to our thinking, and that we unwittingly confine our concepts to the language we use to communicate with each other. In fact, today’s cutting-edge innovators have a bold saying, “Change the language to change the culture.” 

The concept of referring to God as “we” and “us” has not received much face time before the church, but it holds a solid place in scripture. Jesus explained this to the woman at the well in John 4:14. “The water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” The very foundation of our redemptive relationship with God rests on the premise of God’s indwelling presence. “At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.” John 14:20. “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.” Romans 8:9. Note, this is not God down the street or across town, but God in us! 

Paul wrote, “For we are laborers together with God.” I Corinthians 3:9. Also, “We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.” II Corinthians 6:1. When you think of “working together,” no picture comes closer to depicting the concept than the old-fashioned Amish barn raising.  One man cannot do what fifty can do, when they work in harmony with each other.  Clearly, God envisioned a close relationship with His church. He wants us to think of Him as a friend, a fellow-worker and even a husband.

The force of this concept becomes even greater when we look at the last verse of the gospel of Mark. “And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.” Mark 16:20 . The phrase “working with them” comes from a single Greek word. Translated, it means synergy.  Divine synergy occurs when the church exercises its true partnership with God to fulfill its earthly mission. The church is a joint venture with God, a combined effort to advance the church’s frontiers around the world. 

No doubt, some discourage speaking of God as “we” in an attempt at humility, as though only an arrogant person would say such a thing. But failure to speak of God as “we’ or “us,” rather than “Him, Thee or Thou” fosters spiritual anemia. We work in tandem with God with His full blessing. He is not remote, indifferent or reluctant to work with us. It is time to let “Him” become “we.” This is the essence of His plan. “In whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:21-22. “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4.

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